Just announced the cast for RuPaul’s All Stars Drag Race Season 4 and air date. It’s an interesting line-up, with a couple of Queens who previously competed for All Stars’ debut season returning. Perhaps, BeBe Zahara Benet’s casting for All Stars’ third season was a sign that there are no hard rules when it comes to casting for All Stars; anyone can return, winners or former cast are eligible.
Farrah Moan, who placed 8th in RuPaul’s Drag Race season 9 and the youngest cast to ever compete up to her season, is a fan favorite (with 145K followers on Twitter). A sweet, talented and memorable Queen who can paint the house down. She fared well in her season, but her on-screen need for reassurance didn’t work in her favor. Will she be needing someone to hold her hand this time around?
Gia Gunn (99.2K followers), a Japanese-American transgender woman, competed for Drag Race season 6. Gunn recently competed for the second season of “The Switch Drag Race” – Chile’s local version of Drag Race – representing Japan instead of the USA. She finished as runner-up. During her stint on Drag Race, her catchphrase “Absolutely”, didn’t sit well with some of the judges. But just like her fellow contestant Laganja Estranja (team “Too Much” and a members of “Haus of Edwards”), who were accused of over-producing themselves on the show, end up being some of the most memorable cast after the show, whose catchphrases were being parodied (and copied) in pop culture even to this day. Given her success in Chile, will she give the girls a run for their money this season? We’ll see.
Jasmine Masters (202K followers), was the third to leave on Drag Race season 7. Fans will never forget her painted beard for her runway look on the “ShakesQueer” episode, because she refused to glue fake beard on her face. She lost the lip sync to Kennedy Davenport. What brief exposure she got from the show she made up with her no holds barred video updates on social media. “I’m Jasmine Masters, and I have something to say…“, she opens her vlogs she records in her residence, car, wherever. She end up having her own show on “WOW Plus”. Her catchphrase “jush” has gotten so popular that it caught the attention of Justin Bieber, who got one of her clip go viral. She’s a great performer, who also managed to keep a very lean and tight figure (how does she keep those abs so lean?), but will she compromise this time (follow the guidelines) to get more mileage on the show or will she still stick to her guns and leave early?
Latrice Royale (281K followers), placed fourth on Drag Race season 4 and winner of Miss Congeniality – whose is also arguably that season’s breakout star – and competed on the debut season of All Stars, finishing 7th/8th place along with tandem cast Manila Luzon. All Stars’ first season’s twist was the tandem competition, where Queen’s were paired up based on a random pick. It produced one of the most memorable lip syncs to date (Raven and Jujubee), but they cast all the top Drag Race alums at that time and eliminated two per episode, causing a lot of uproar from a lot of fans, but I digress. Her second stint with All Stars is not a big surprise. But it does opens the door for the other Queens from that season. Royale, who recently got married with fiancé Christopher Hamblin, on September 29, is one of the most popular and prolific alums of the show. She’s a great example of the Phoenix rising. Her lip sync performances are very soulful and intense. She’s a singer, a great performer and an entrepreneur. How will she stack up to this season’s competitors?
Manila Luzon (226K followers), is a runner-up of Drag Race season 2 (and some would argue that she should’ve won that season). She also competed in the debut season of All Stars, and was pared with Latrice Royale. A professionally trained graphics artist, Luzon is a very creative and crafty Queen, a talent possessed by only a handful of alums – like BenDeLaCreme, Bianca Del Rio, Ivy Winters and Phi Phi O’Hara, to name a few. Her themed-couture creations on the show, like her pineapple-inspired dress, are some of the iconic self-made gowns to have graced the show’s main stage. She was boyfriend to Sahara Davenport, an cast member of Drag Race season 2, who passed away in October 2012. She end up tying the knot with her fiancé, Michael Alvarez, on Christmas eve last year in Las Vegas after a year-long engagement. A prolific singer and performer, she’s among the Drag Drace alums whose star power remain strong, if not stronger, after the show. How will she fare this time, hopefully, on an individual competition?
Monét X Change (109K followers), is sixth placer of Drag Race season 10. One could argue that her time on the show, compared to the other contestants, is above average. She wasn’t bad but also didn’t stood out. Thanks to her craftiness on the first episode, were she fashioned kitchen sponges into a gown, her derived sponge gag became a recurring comic relief on the show. She even released a single paying homage to it, entitled “Soak It Up”, in collaboration with fellow Drag alum and drag sister, Bob The Drag Queen. Perhaps, her memorability can be attributed to that humble kitchen cleaning tool.
Monique Heart (72.2K followers), competed on the 10th season of Drag Race finishing 8th place. She’s a funny and talented Queen, who unfortunately didn’t fare well on the show, ending on the high end of the bottom half of the cast line-up. She’s quite popular at Drag Con, and very personable at that. What is she going to bring to All Stars? Is she going to be this season’s comeback kid? We’ll see.
Naomi Smalls (94.5K followers), is a runner-up on Drag Race season 8. She left a great impression on the show. Her lip sync against Acid Betty is iconic. Young, very personable, talented, sweet and in high demand. She travels around the world performing with other fellow alums. Is this going to be her season to finally snatch a Drag Race crown?
Trinity Taylor (116K followers), shares the 3rd and 4th place with Shea Couleé on Drag Race season 9 (basically 2nd Runner-up rank). She made a great impression on the show, her lip syncs were very memorable and jaw dropping. Taylor, who is candid about having surgery to improve her look, is an excellent performer, personable and quite busy – traveling the world performing. She’s definitely one of the Queens to beat this season. Watch out!
Valentina (104K followers), is a 7th placer of Drag Race season 9 and voted by fans as Miss Congeniality. Valentina, who can also sing, has a very strong fan following. She’s undoubtedly one of the most photogenic Queens to have graced the show. Her time on the show was made memorable by her lip sync performance; where she wore a face mask, and for a moment refused to take it off even after being told by RuPaul repeatedly to do so. She end up taking the mask off, only to cover her lips with her arms or look away from the judges because she didn’t know the lyrics. After the show she’s made appearances in the entertainment industry, like on television and magazines. She was recently cast in Fox’s upcoming live musical “Rent, Rent: Live’. Will she remember the lyrics this time (that is, if she falls in the bottom two)?
Based on their previous record on the show, and maybe growth after the show, here’s our guess on how these new batch of All Stars will stack up! As always, no T no shade no pink lemonade…
Top Five: Manila Luzon, Trinity Taylor, Latrice Royale, Naomi Smalls, Gia Gunn
Bottom Five: Valentina, Jasmine Masters, Farrah Moan, Monét X Change, Monique Heart
First Exit: Monique Heart
Top Three: Manila Luzon, Trinity Taylor, Latrice Royale
Scenario 1: Manila Luzon vs Latrice Royale, Latrice Royale (winner)
Scenario 2: Trinity Taylor vs Latrice Royale, Latrice Royale (winner)
Scenario 3: Trinity Taylor vs Manila Luzon, Trinity Taylor (winner)
As always, it’s just a guess. Who knows what the producers are cooking up this season? RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 4 premieres Friday, December 14 at 8/7c on VH1.